MINICOY ISLAND

MINICOY ISLAND



MINICOY ISLAND

Minicoy (known locally as Maliku) is the southernmost of the Lakshadweep archipelago, lying 175 km southwest of Suheli Par in the Cannanore Islands, from which they are separated from by the Nine Degree Channel. To the south lie the atolls of the Maldives, with their northernmost member of Ihavandiffulu being located 128 km to the south across the Eight Degree Channel (Vangaaru Channel).

The island of Minicoy forms the eastern and southern side to the atoll. Covering an area of 4.4 km², it is the second largest island of the Lakshadweep archipelago after Andrott, measuring 10.6 km in length and 0.82 km across at its widest point. The island is boomerang-shaped, with the northern end tapering towards Kodi Point as a thin ribbon of land only tens of meters across. In the southwest, northwest of Tunda Point, lies the small island of Wiringili (bottom-right in the image).The lagoon of Minicoy is shallow (averaging 4 m in depth) covering an area of 25 km². It is connected to the open sea by the Saleh Magu Channel in the northeast.Minicoy is crescent-shaped and more than 10kms in length. The lagoon is large and deep enough for small ships to enter. There is a small island at the northern tip of the main island known as Viringili which was used by the people for isolating small-pox patients in the past. Within the lagoon, the reef dries at low tide at the north-western entrance depositing marine collections.

The Minicoy Island is the southern-most island of Lakshadweep, situated at a distance of 398 km (215 nautical miles) south-west of Kochi between 8° 15 and 8° 20 N latitude and 73° 01 and 73° OS E longitude, having an area of 4.80 sq km. This island lies near the 9 0 Channel, which is one of the busiest shipping routes and is about 130 km from the northern-most island of Maldives.Minicoy is the only island in Lakshadweep having three large ship wrecks believed to be that of S.S Hoechst and other ships, within 8 mtrs depth on the island reef. It is believed that these ship wreck initiated construction of light house In 1885. These wrecks are virtual underwater museums and fish species found here are larger than average normal size found else where perhaps due to consumption of Ferrous of the wrecks.

Minicoy is an important tuna fishing centre and there is a tuna canning factory with an ice plant and cold storage. It has a number of scientific research stations like Radio Zone Ravine observatory and Tidal observatory. There is also a light house since 1885 in view of its strategic location.

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